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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

August 4, 1998.


"Asian tigers" are dying. The economy of the Southeast Asian countries is in ruin. America and Europe have gotten rid of their dangerous rival for a long time. These are the conclusions drawn by the foreign ministers of the Association of States of Southeast Asia, or ASEAN, at their 31st session last week. The story looks at several negative effects the economic weakening of the ASEAN countries will have for Russia.

The Saratov aircraft factory has assembled 100 Case grain combine harvesters for the Lipetsk region out of U.S. parts. The current drought, however, has destroyed nearly the whole harvest, which makes the new machines stand idle. Governor Dmitry Ayatskov offered them to his neighbors not for gratis, of course. Under what conditions?

The story is an analysis of Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko's 100 days in office that have demonstrated his competence and talent. However, he has failed to form his own team during this period, because all his efforts were concentrated on eliminating the financial crisis.

The Space Control Agency has revised the crews for the last space missions to the Mir space station, which will be descended into the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1999. It was decided that flight engineer Avdeyev and a French astronaut will prepare Mir for its last mission.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a decree on creating eight protected natural preserves within city limits. Will they help improve the unfavorable ecological situation in the city with its 2.5 million cars?

At a recent session tax chief Boris Fyodorov, who now supervises the Federal Currency and Export Control Service, considered its achievements and failures. The story looks at major issues.

Latest developments show that state authorities are helpless in putting an end to the miners' two-month-long "rail war" that has done immeasurable damage to the national economy. Political scientist Vyacheslav Nikonov criticizes the state for its inaction, foretelling a sad end to it.

Bankruptcy is again threatening AvtoVAZ, whose managers admit that they have not enough funds to pay wages. In a short interview AvtoVAZ Director General Alexei Nikolayev describes the current situation at his enterprise.

The government imposed new taxes starting Aug. 1 that practically are intended to raise revenues for the budget. However, parts of the fiscal documents are illegal and the taxpayers have every reason not to follow them. The story looks at the legal aspect of such documents. Also covered in Finansoviye Izvestia.


Miners' continuing blockade of railways in the Chelyabinsk region may cause a new ecological catastrophe, since Mayak, the only Russian enterprise processing nuclear waste, may be left without heating and light. The story looks at possible negative aftermaths.

At the session of the Moscow City Court on Monday, the Moscow government agreed to cancel huge fines for staying in the city without registration. What factors have forced city authorities to make this decision?

Rostov-on-Don law enforcers have arrested a group of 38 gangsters, who are accused of committing 12 murders, dozens of armed attacks, robberies and acts of extortion. The story gives details of their crimes.

Yury Bezruchenko, 45, head of the PromstroigazYug company, was killed Monday night near his house.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and Santiago Mayor Haime Ravinet on Monday attended the Moscow ceremony of unveiling the monument to Chilian poet Gabriele Mistral. The monument was erected in Moscow in exchange for a monument to Pushkin in Chile.

The joint project of Gazprom and Ukraine's Chernomorneftegaz to develop the shelf of the Black and Azov seas may not take place, because the Ukrainian government has launched the reorganization of its oil and gas sector to create a new state structure _ the Neftegaz Ukrainy national joint-stock company. When it is created all Gazprom-Chernomorneftegaz agreements will be invalid.

President Yeltsin has vetoed four laws that were approved by parliament before his vacation and were intended to boost investment to the Russian economy. The story explains why.

The British Trans World Group, or TWG, has given up its struggle for the Novolipetsk Metals Combine. TWG's 36 percent of stock will be sold to partner firms of the MFK-Renaissance Group. The end of the scandal has already brought in positive results to the combine.

The illustrious German artistic director, Peter Stein, arrived in Moscow on Sunday to stage "Hamlet" with a team of Moscow's best actors. The story looks at the project.


The State Duma's household affairs directorate has received a warning from Auto Combine No. 1 that Duma, the lower house of parliament, deputies will not receive any office cars unless the house pays its debts, therefore, deputies will have to use city transportation.

President Boris Yeltsin on Monday signed the concept of state military policy for the period up to the year 2005. It states in part that conscription will remain until 2005 contradicting the president's election promises. The story reveals the essence of the document. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Moscow sanitary inspectors have made the decision to toughen the rules of watermelon trade in the city _ thus buyers will not be able to look on the inside of watermelons because the new rules forbid cutting and tasting.

Four 1 1/2-year-old giraffes will arrive in Moscow at the end of August to live in the city zoo, where a new spacious area has already been prepared for them.

In an interview, muscovite Viktor Yasnetsov, 15, who has enrolled at the Moscow Medical Stomatological Institute, talks about his early successes.


Kalmykia President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who arrived in St. Petersburg to attend the chess tournament, stated that he intends to run for president of Russia and that his election campaign would be called "The Hollywood Stars."

President Boris Yeltsin's grandson, Boris, has passed all entrance exams to be enrolled at the Economic Relations Faculty of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The story says how he did it.

Has the IMF credit made the life of the government easier? Why does the situation on the domestic financial market remain tense? Why do Western investors not trust Russia? In an interview, Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov answers these and other questions.

What do extrasensory healers and astrologers foretell Russian politicians and how often do their prophecies come true? The story describes "hordes" of magicians and clairvoyants of all types, who often visit State Duma deputies to predict their fate.



The story looks at several economic decrees that have been put into effect by Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko who marked his 100 days in office last Sunday. The story focuses on their negative effects for the population.

At the current meeting in Brussels, heads from the Russian Space Agency and the European Union are considering a new joint project developed by the Khrunichev Research-Production Center (Russia), the British-French Matra Marconi Space concern and the German DASA company. The Global Ecological Service joint program will unite Russian and European space technologies and data handling networks to ensure an uninterrupted monitoring of land and marine surfaces.

The story highlights many absurd things that are characteristic only to Russian government.

What kinds of actions are the left-wing and patriotic forces preparing for the upcoming "red fall?" How will they use people's mass protests? The story reveals some of the communists' plans.

In an interview State Duma Vice-Speaker Sergei Baburin, who more often than not is viewed as a possible founder of a new bloc of non-communist forces with a more radical strategy of struggle against the ruling regime, talks about the need to impeach President Yeltsin, saying that his further rule is a destabilizing factor.


According to the government amnesty decree, which took effect on June 24, more than 17,000 servicemen, who either evaded the army service or deserted their army units, are to be given immunity. The story comments on the measure.

The federal law concerning amendments to the Law on the State Budget for 1998 signed by President Yeltsin on July 31 allows state museum and educational establishments financed from the federal budget to keep their earnings from the renting out of federal property.

Russian enterprises do not pay taxes because they lack money. And who prevents them from making money? In order to answer this question economicobserver Yelena Yakovleva visited several factories to speak to their managers who had to answer the question _ why don't their enterprises earn money?

In an interview pop singer Tamara Gverdtsiteli, People's Singer of Georgia, who moved to Moscow in 1992, talks about her new program that she's preparing for performances in America.


Muscovites will be able to see the semi-shadow lunar eclipse on August 8 early in the morning (5:32) when the Moon will enter the Earth's semi-shadow.

Interior Ministry official Ivan Golubev said that a group of police officers (interior troops) has been sent to Sakhalin to use force to disperse the striking miners there, who have blocked all roads to the Sakhalinskaya Electric Power Station.

The Board of Directors of the World Bank will get together in Washington on August 6 to approve (or disapprove) the release to Russia of the third installment of its loan ($1.5 billion). The storylooks at all the pluses and minuses of this loan.

The MKF _ Moskovskiye Partnyory company has been re-registered into Sberinvest. This was stated by Sberbank head Andrei Kazmin, who noted that earlier Sberbank had obtained the controlling interest of this company.


Reliable sources say that the prime minister has prepared a draft decree on appointing his adviser Olga Aliluyeva to the post of deputy prime minister for the economy. Who is she and how has she managed to get to such a level of esteem?

The story looks at the main results of Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko's official visit to Ingushetia last Saturday and his talks with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov.

President Yeltsin has fired Yevgeny Yasin, the most competent economist in the Russian government and one of the authors of the anti-crisis program.

Who will pay the St. Petersburg SPARK aircraft-repair company the 765,000 rubles for repairing the president's helicopter?

The story looks at several private schools (with intriguing names) that allow children's parents to chose educational establishments for their kids according to their financial means.


Pages of history. The session of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, which took place in Moscow fifty years ago, declared genetics "bourgeois pseudo-science." The story features that distant event of 1948.

Svyazinvest managers have announced their desire to obtain an all-Russian license to deliver services of GSM cellular communications, which means that Svyazinvest will become a major operator on the Russian mobile communications market.

The federal law on state control over international automobile transportations and on responsibility for violating the procedure of their fulfillment is printed in full in this edition.

The Federal Law on cracking down on terrorism is also printed in this edition as well as the FederalLaw in introducing amendments in the Law on Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation.


How do the domestic military academies tackle the task of providing the army and navy with well-educated officers? In an interview General Ivan Panin, chief of the Personnel and Military Education Department of the Defense Ministry, answers this and other questions about training commanding officers for the army.


The story is a letter by public ecological organizations of the Irkutsk region about ecological genocide committed by local administrators. The letter says in part the Angara and Belaya rivers and also the Bratsk water reservoir have become ecological disaster zones.


The Moscow City Education Committee has decidedto introduce 12 years of schooling up from the traditional 10 years. The measure has been prompted by the need to conform to international standards.


How much have food prices gone up since August 1? Nataliya Kharitonova, Deputy Director of the Yeliseyevsky Food Store (Tverskaya Ulitsa), says that food prices have gone up ten percent on the average.


In an interview Mikhail Shvydkoi, head of the All-Russian State TV and Radio holding company, who was appointed to the post two months ago, tells of his first steps and creative plans.

The story features TB, disease No. 1 in Moscow. TB annually kills more people in Moscow than all other infectious ailments combined. The story gives facts and figures to prove the point.